Message From The President to the UB-North Community
7th July 2020
Dear members of the UB-North community,
Lately, there has been much speculation and rumour-mongering concerning University of The Bahamas-North. Please be assured of the facts in this matter.
UB-North and the students, faculty and staff who study, teach and work there are all vitally important to our academy. You are critical facilitators in meeting the higher education needs of Grand Bahama, the northern Bahamas and our Family Islands. The UB-North community is the personification of resilience and has an important mandate to fulfil in the growth and development of The Bahamas.
As you know, in September 2019, Hurricane Dorian severely damaged the campus in East Grand Bahama and displaced approximately 600 persons. Sadly, this happened just a year and six months after we marked the formal opening of the Hawksbill Hall residential facility, a gift from the Grand Bahama Port Authority which also generously donated the land on which the campus is located. In truly heroic fashion – and while still dealing with your own psychological and emotional trauma – you worked with agility to resume operations. Just a mere month later, you relocated and were operating in circumstances which were functional, yet less than ideal. Then this year, the COVID-19 pandemic, associated restrictions, and fiscal ramifications compounded the University’s predicament.
If there is anything to be learned from past lessons, it is that with our collective imagination and ingenuity, success will eclipse our current adversities. We must rebuild UB-North, and we will. We must regain the momentum that was started to enhance academic instruction and research, support student success, and equip the citizens of this country to make small businesses, industries and the economy more robust. We must prepare our students for better lives in this global society.
The priority that the UB-North campus holds is affirmed in the University of The Bahamas 2019-2024 Strategic Plan approved by the Board of Trustees. That plan outlines the objectives of identifying and acquiring a new location in downtown Freeport and repurposing, redesigning and reconstructing the current campus in East Grand Bahama. Through the leadership of VP of UB-North Dr. Ian Strachan, preliminary work has already commenced; architecture students have completed an architectural draft. Moving forward, we will continue to thoroughly envision and plan for a new campus that will meet the needs of the University community and those it serves. A part of this involves the acquisition of a new site and carefully solidifying the financial support that will be required. Together, we will work to make this happen.
The University, like the rest of The Bahamas and the world, is facing an extraordinary period of austerity and uncertainty which must be met with bold and innovative thinking. Thorough reviews are being conducted, aimed at curtailing unnecessary expenditure, stimulating more revenue generation, and improving overall financial and fiscal health. All of this is happening as the institution is still determining the operational changes that it must adopt in this COVID-19 environment. Although a number of proposals and recommendations have been submitted, including those from the unions, nothing has been finalized.
You will be kept abreast of pertinent and factual information and decisions through the University’s official channels. Should you have any further questions or comments, please submit them to Ms. Maelynn Seymour-Major, Chief of Staff, (email@example.com) Office of the President with the subject headline Rebuilding UB-North.
Please remain safe and know that we will get through this together.
Rodney D. Smith, Ed.D.
President and CEO
Office of University Relations
University of The Bahamas
2nd Floor, Michael H. Eldon Complex
University Drive, Oakes Field Campus
P.O. Box N-4912
Nassau, The Bahamas
Tel: (242) 302-4355/4354/4365
Chartered on 10th November 2016, University of The Bahamas (UB) is a beacon for national transformation. Approximately 5,000 students are enrolled in the University of The Bahamas system which includes campuses and centres on New Providence, Grand Bahama, San Salvador and Abaco, as well as UB online education. UB’s diverse academic programmes, research engagements, athletics and leadership development experiences equip our students to become global citizens in a dynamic world. For more information, visit www.ub.edu.bs.